Expand your knowledge beyond the classroom! Become a Fellow for your chance at $5000 in paid summer internships.

Redhawk Startup Fellowship

The Redhawk Startup Fellowship provides a select group of students from diverse educational backgrounds with hands-on learning in startup processes. The program consists of four (4) weeks of preparatory sessions followed by ten (10) weeks of internship, and provides students the opportunity to apply their knowledge and gain on-the-job experience while working closely with local startups. Twelve (12) students will be selected to complete a seminar with experienced startup founders followed by a world-class paid internship during the summer semester.

The Redhawk Startup Fellowship program was established by Codefi, the innovation hub in downtown Cape Girardeau, in partnership with Southeast Missouri State University to offer opportunities for Harrison College of Business and Computing students to gain the theoretical understanding, practical knowledge, and leadership skills needed to scale startups.

Get Involved

Are you up for the challenge? Join our 2021 cohort.

Enrollment is limited to outstanding Harrison College of Business and Computing students. Students may apply individually, or as a team of up to four (4) members. The application period runs through April 4, 2021, and Pitch Days will be held on April 8-9, 2021. Students who apply are asked to analyze a sample case study and present their solution in front of the selection committee.

Pitch Day

April 8, 9 • 7pm
Dempster Hall, Room 238


Complete the application process


Pitch your solution to a selection committee


Attend required seminar sessions


Complete paid summer internship

What is in it for you?

  • $5000 stipend per team
  • Internship credit (optional)
  • Hands-on experience at high-growth startups
  • Mentorship from seasoned entrepreneurs
  • Exclusive networking opportunities
  • Codefi membership

Redhawk Startup Fellowship Student Application

Fill out my online form.


  1. Format
    After applying, you will receive a case study via email encompassing real issues being experienced by a real company. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to propose a strategy that would help the company overcome these issues. Your task is to convince the selection committee that your solution is feasible. To simulate this activity, we would like for you to analyze the case and present it to our selection committee.
  2. Student Eligibility
    The Redhawk Startup Fellowship is open to any current Harrison College of Business and Computing student.
  3. Team Composition
    Up to four (4) eligible students. If you do not have a team when applying for the Fellowship, you will be assigned one once accepted into the program.
  4. Selection Committee
    A selection committee made out of seasoned startup founders and professors will be formed with the purpose of evaluating the Pitch Day entrants and selecting the next cohort of Redhawk Startup Fellows.
  5. Pitch Day Schedule
    Entrants will be assigned a time slot for their pitch during one of the two available pitch days. A Doodle Poll will be sent to all entrants to select a convenient time slot, on a first-come, first-served basis.
  6. Presentation Time
    On Pitch Day, each presentation should last no more than 10 minutes. If presenting as a team, each team member must participate in the presentation.
  7. Presentation Room
    A presentation room will be provided for Pitch Day. The room will be setup with:
    • One computer with software, including PowerPoint.
    • One data projector.
    • Possibly a presentation clicker.
    • A timekeeper who will indicate when there are five (5) minutes, three (3) minutes, and one (1) minute remaining in the presentation time. When the 10 minutes are up, the timekeeper will end the presentation whether or not it is finished.
  8. Question & Answer Session
    Following the completion of the pitch, the team will be allotted five (5) minutes to answer questions from the selection committee.


March 15


April 4



April 8-9


Pitch Day

April 11



April 15


Seminar #1

April 22


Seminar #2

April 29


Seminar #3

May 6


Seminar #4

June 1


August 13


Educational Materials

Five Basic Steps to Solving a Case Study:

  1. Identify the Primary Concern
  2. Situation Analysis
  3. Identify Potential Alternatives
  4. Recommend a Solution
  5. Implement Your Plan

Download the Case Study Guide


Tips for a Successful Pitch


Make it Human-Centered

Get out there and talk to people! Secondary research is important. Where possible, your ideas should also be informed by robust primary research. The selection committee will be impressed when you are able to cite conversations with people who are “living the problem.”


Keep it Laser-Focused

When solving a case study, there are typically a number of exciting possible solutions. We’ve found it is most effective to recommend the one solution you think is most compelling. Then, tell the audience why you chose it, and build it out in detail. The audience will be much more impressed by a single, deep and well-studied solution than a set of broad and shallow ones.


Make it Beautiful

The value of an aesthetically compelling presentation cannot be overstated. This will keep your audience alert and engaged. Straightforward, crisp slides with simple design elements will go a long way. If you want to take it one step further, don’t be afraid to get creative by adding illustrations and vivid imagery.


Know Your Numbers

When it comes to Q&A time, it’s always satisfying to respond to a judge’s doubting question with, “Yes, and we have data to support that.” If you’re going to whip out that reply, make sure you’ve done your homework. While only key numbers should be presented, an appendix is a helpful add-on for all the numerical content that you may want to pull out of your arsenal during follow-up questioning. Make sure you practice speaking confidently about how you arrived at those final numbers as well.


Make it Actionable

Ultimately, selection committees want solutions that feel tangible – ones they can execute readily, with existing budget, and feel excited to promote to internal stakeholders. Craft a clear outline for how you’ll launch your idea, what money you’ll leverage, and what existing resources you can draw on. If you want to add some glitz, you can always build out a roadmap for how your solution might evolve and grow as you scale (three, five, or ten years down the line).


Tell a Story

Business jargon and charts might seem impressive, but if the judges aren’t hooked they may miss the genius of your solution. Storytelling can be a critical lever for standing out and connecting with your audience. Share emotional and powerful stories of personas or real people you spoke with to demonstrate how this solution will transform the lives of customers and stakeholders. Coming full circle to our first tip: speaking with people out in the world will enable you to deliver compelling human stories.

Employer Information

Select Redhawk Startup Fellows complete paid internships with startups during the summer session, allowing each fellow to demonstrate their innovation, analytic, and strategic skills on high-impact projects. Our mission is to expose Harrison College of Business and Computing students to the reality of entrepreneurial processes in a variety of roles, and will only place students in organizations operating in a highly ethical manner and demonstrating a commitment to the growth of fellows they employ.

Employer Application

Fill out my online form.